2022 Commonwealth Games Preview: Trinidad & Tobago
THE 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England are just around the corner. To celebrate, we are previewing each of the competing netball nations and predicting how they might fare in the tournament.
Today it is Trinidad and Tobago, who did not compete in the most recent Commonwealth Games, but finished 10th in the 2014 Games.
Despite only playing in two Commonwealth Games, Trinidad and Tobago will not be the lowest ranked nation in their group, ranked higher than Northern Ireland in 10th. Though they will have a great battle to try and win the clash against Northern Ireland, it will be an uphill battle against both Uganda and Malawi, let alone New Zealand and England.
Trinidad and Tobago last played a friendly international series against Jamaica last October, and it was no surprise to see the Calypso Girls outclassed. With a far less experienced outfit than the Jamaicans, they suffered the three losses by a minimum of 32 goals. In the 2019 World Cup, Trinidad and Tobago recorded a ninth placed finish, defeating Northern Ireland then by nine goals. In the same tournament group stage, they did face England and Uganda, suffering a 26-goal defeat to the Roses, but taking it up to Uganda, only going down by three in the end.
The star player in the Calypso Girls line-up is Celtic Dragons defender Shaquanda Greene-Noel who has been a revelation at Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) level. Gaining that experience against English Roses will be critical when she faces the top side in the group, but she is among plenty without the same experience. Of course the Calypso Girls’ best player will be unavailable, as NSW Swifts’ Sam Wallace continues her return from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury earlier in the year.
Trinidad and Tobago’s side will look very different to the one that played at the 2019 World Cup, with just Aniecia Baptiste, Bubbles Hollingsworth and Shernece Seemungal alongside Greene-Noel as returnees. Baptiste will provide a defensive partner for Greene-Noel, while Hollingsworth and Seemungal were bench rotations at the World Cup. Vice-captain Joelisa Cooper played back at the Commonwealth Games, and will add some much-needed experience in that regard.
Without Wallace in particular, it is hard to see Trinidad and Tobago picking up more than the one win, with the clash against Northern Ireland set to be a beauty, but the Calypso Girls will have their work cut out for them before then.
Shaquanda Greene-Noel (captain), Aniecia Baptiste, Jeresia McEchrane, Joelisa Cooper (vice-captain), Afeisha Noel, Tiana Dillon, Tahirah Hollingsworth, Tia Bruno, Janeisha Cassimy, Oprah Douglas, Faith Hagley, Shantel Seemungal. Reserves: Crystal-Ann George, Akeima Estrada, Kathy-Ann Graham
Friday, July 29 – England
Sunday, July 31 – Uganda
Tuesday, August 2 – New Zealand
Wednesday, August 3 – Malawi
Thursday, August 4 – Northern Ireland